Intel and Micron Technology have joined forces to create the first 25nm NAND flash chips, allowing for double the capacity over current flash memory.
As reported over on IEEE Spectrum
, the joint venture - called, somewhat unimaginatively, Intel-Micron Flash Technologies - will be the first to start production of flash memory chips based on a 25nm manufacturing process - a significant density increase over current 34nm chips.
Due to start mass production in the second quarter of this year - and to start cropping up in SSDs and USB memory sticks shortly after that - the 25nm process allows for 8GB of data to be crammed into 167mm² - or, to put it another way, ten times the data of a CD in the space taken up by the hole in the centre.
The news of a 25nm NAND breakthrough has come as a surprise to Intel and Micron's competitors, who have been working on a process shrink of their own - but with Samsung looking at 27nm and Hynix 26nm, Intel-Micron Flash Technologies will certainly have a not inconsiderable lead over its rivals for a while yet.
Although Intel-Micron Flash Technologies has yet to talk about pricing for its new NAND flash chips, it is thought that the process shrink and concomitant increase in data density will help SSDs drop to a more acceptable price-per-gigabyte - and surely drive adoption at an even faster pace.
Are you pleased to see solid-state development proceeding apace, or will you believe the advances when you can get your sticky mitts on a product based around the companies' 25nm chips? Share your thoughts over in the forums